Kohler Handheld Will Not Stay On

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DeeKay

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I have a Kohler Handheld Shower Wand (Model A 12.18.1) with 3 buttons on the face that shuts itself off. This unit has been installed in a little-used bathroom for about 2 years and it has suddenly started acting up. When the tub diverter is pulled up the water directs to the handheld for just a second and then flow through the head stops. When I push any one of the three buttons water will flow but then stops immediately as soon as the button is released. Changing the diverter back to the tub side and then back to shower will restore flow for about a second and then it stops again until a wand face button is pressed.

i thought this might somehow be associated with an anti scald feature in the wand so I made sure that only cold water was running but that did not help. I disassembled the hose-to-head connection, found a small unit (maybe flow reducer?) in the line, removed that, reassembled but there was no change to the behavior.

Now I am stuck with a guest shower that will only flow when one of the face buttons is held down. Does anyone have a clue what has gone wrong here?
 

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